Klavan On The Culture

Racism or Silence? What's Wrong With This Picture?

This comes by way of Glenn Beck’s increasingly excellent online news site The Blaze. A local Buffalo man is interviewed after the home of an African immigrant is set on fire by an arsonist. The Buffalo man says the fire is understandable because African-Americans ruin any neighborhood they move into.


Now before I react, let me reiterate what I’ve said here before. I believe racism as a philosophy is knuckleheaded pseudo-science and moral idiocy. It is the kind of half-smart thinking I expect from leftists, and goes entirely against the respect for the individual that is at the heart of conservatism.

That said, what struck me about the video above was not the opinion of the interviewee — who is an honest person on the ground reporting the facts as he sees them — but the reaction of the interviewer from local TV station WIVB-TV. He (sounds like a kid) is clearly shocked by the man’s direct response to his questions and keeps asking, “Don’t you see something wrong with what you’re saying?  Mightn’t this be offensive? Isn’t there a bias to your opinion?”

Really? Is that the problem?

This is what the left teaches us. It’s not the actual facts that are a problem — it’s speaking your observations out loud, that’s where the real difficulty lies. This guy may not have the whole story. He may be misinterpreting his observations. We all do that sometimes. But if he isn’t allowed to report honestly what he sees and express his opinions about it, how is anyone ever going to find out what’s happening?  This interviewer is essentially suggesting the man shut up and stop answering his questions. He wants his own interviewee to stop relaying his point of view! Maybe instead, this intrepid reporter should — oh, just for instance — listen to the man! And then maybe check out whether or not his opinion is widespread and whether or not it has any basis in truth.

I personally believe that poor black (and many poor white) Americans have had their lives degraded by leftist policies and ideas that discourage the formation of complete families, relieve people of the need for industry and self-care, teach them that they are hated and helpless victims of society and undermine their faith in God. It would not surprise me at all to find that the results of that degradation showed up in this guy’s life in ways that made him hold these opinions.

I fear for this guy. I fear he’ll suffer retribution at work and in other ways for speaking directly — I daresay manfully. But the problem is not with him speaking out loud that which, as he says, many others believe, the problem is with a leftist media regime that has schooled even those who don’t agree with them that they are not to say what they see lest they be branded evil.

Well, of course. If people start relaying what’s right in front of their eyes, leftism is doomed.

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